By Bill Parry
The Industrial Business Zone in Long Island City is getting an increase in City Council funding. The $100,000 grant will allow the LIC Partnership to continue to help companies obtain financing, energy efficiency consultation, tax credits and abatements to grow their businesses and ultimately retain jobs.
“Through Hurricane Sandy and after the Great Recession, the partnership has helped small business owners navigate financial hardships, saving thousands of jobs in the process,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said. “By nurturing Long Island City’s industrial business zone we are strengthening our local economy and laying the groundwork that allows small business to continue hiring locally.”
Last year, Van Bramer secured $75,000 in funding for the program, but this year he upped it over 25 percent to $100,943.
Van Bramer made the announcement at the Falchi Building, at 31-00 47th Ave., a mixed-use five-story former storage warehouse that continues to provide creative work spaces for small business owners seeking alternatives to space in other boroughs. One such design and fabrication company, Creative Engineering, was flooded with over two feet of water during Sandy. Some 50 percent of its workforce was expected to be lost after the storm caused significant damage to their facility. The City Council funding allowed the LIC Partnership to assist the company with emergency funding, which helped rebuild its work space and retain 100 employees, who live in the area and contribute to the local economy.
“The LIC Partnership has helped us innumerable times,” Vincent Miller of Creative Engineering said. “Without the Industrial Business Zone program helping us, at least 50 percent of these jobs would have been lost.”
With 2,100 industrial and manufacturing companies in the Zone employing 39,500 employees, LIC Partnership President Elizabeth Lusskin said the program is more important than ever.
“Through it we help these companies stay and grow in Long Island City,” she said. “By connecting them with everything from incentives, financing, energy efficiency and work force training to helping them with permits, potholes and parking.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4538.